This article contains spoilers for Dark Web: X-Men #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
For anyone who’s forgotten, Santa Claus not only exists in the Marvel Universe, but he’s also a mutant — a fact reaffirmed by Spider-Man in Dark Web: X-Men #1.
The topic comes up after a young boy laments Santa’s seeming demise at the hands of the demonized Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in Dark Web: X-Men #1, written by Gerry Duggan, illustrated by Rod Reis and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. The chaos unfolds as part of Marvel’s Dark Web event, where the new Queen of Limbo Madelyne Pryor has teamed with Peter Parker’s broken clone Ben Reilly — now known as Chasm — and unleashed another Inferno-style attack on New York City.
“I saw it eat Santa,” the child tells Spider-Man. The wall-crawler calms the boy’s fears, telling him not to worry. “He’s a mutant and the X-Men are gonna resurrect him in their Keebler Treehouse.”
When Did Santa Claus Get Outed as a Mutant?
Spidey is referring to, of course, the living island and mutant nation of Krakoa’s ability to resurrect mutants killed in battle or by other means. As he states, there truly is no cause for concern, if only because jolly ol’ St. Nick wasn’t even at the site of the battle. The freshly animated demon tree, though, does consume a life-like Santa Claus decoration heisted from an adjacent building.
Santa is a mutant in the Marvel Universe, and possibly its most powerful. This fact was first established in Scott Lobdell and Dave Cockrum’s “A Miracle a Few Blocks Down From 34th Street,” which appeared in Marvel’s 1991 Marvel Holiday Special anthology. In that story, the X-Men’s mutant-detecting Cerebro unit locked onto “the most powerful mutant ever registered,” who turned out to be none other than Santa. Power of such scale would now qualify Santa as an Omega-level mutant, possessing powers with no definable limits.
Given Santa’s well-known abilities to deliver countless presents worldwide within a span of one night, those powers likely include flight, teleportation, time manipulation and matter transmutation, among many others that almost certainly put him among Omega-level class mutants.
In Dark Web: X-Men #1, Madeline Pryor unleashes her attack at Rockefeller Center — a locale that’s historically been familiar to the X-Men around Christmastime. Inanimate objects like taxis, mailboxes, and yes, even Rock Center’s iconic towering Christmas tree, become demonically possessed and attack an unsuspecting populace. While Cyclops, Jean Grey, Havok and Magik confront Madelyne in Limbo, Spider-Man and his amazing friends Iceman and Firestar stay in Manhattan and neutralize the demonic threats — including Rock Center’s demon tree.
Marvel’s original Inferno event from 1989 spanned the publisher’s mutant-centered titles including Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants and X-Factor, and also featured a demonic invasion of New York City, as well as Madelyne Pryor’s transformation into the Goblin Queen. The storyline also focused on Magik/Illyana Rasputin’s Darkchylde persona.
Dark Web: X-Men #1 is on sale now from Marvel.